The production area of mangoes in Antalya's Gazipasa district is expanding.
The fruit has 4 billion USD worth of global trade and producers in Turkey have difficulty in meeting the demands for this increasingly popular fruit.
Mangoes that were originally from India have been adapted to the climate in Gazipasa district in southern Turkey. Producers in the district grow mangoes in greenhouses and open fields.
Local mangoes cost up to 60 Turkish Lira (9.21 Euro) and especially tourists are interested in this tropical fruit. Farmers aim to produce more mangoes and export them first to Europe and Russia, then to the whole world. Currently the mango trade is limited to the domestic market; supermarkets, luxury hotels and farmers' markets.
Producers cannot meet demands
Mango producer Mustafa Ezici said that one can plant 50 mangoes in 0,1 hectare and first fruits can be expected after 4 years. Following 7 years after plantation, producers can earn 200.000 Turkish Lira (30.686 Euro) per 0,1 hectare, said Ezici and he continued:
"Even in the farmers' market, mangoes costs 50 Turkish Lira (7.67 Euro). Europe imports 600.000 tons of mangoes per year. If we export to Russia and Central Asia as well, there is a potential export value of 1 billion Turkish Lira (153 million Euro). Exporters buy mangoes for 8 euros from the field, however we cannot meet the current demands. Mangoes come from the same family as pistachios and they live for 300 years."
Producers cannot meet demands even though there is an increased production, said Ali Yalcin, the President of Tropical Fruits Production and Marketing Cooperative.
Pointing out the increased demand, Yalcin added that sapling production and plantation continues.
"European and Russian markets are very close to us. However, we cannot even meet all of the domestic demands. We need to first increase our production to meet the domestic demand and start exporting mangoes to the world markets." said Yalcin.